e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Aurora
CONFERENCE NEWS
Annual Conference
This year's Annual Conference will be held June 2-3 at UMC of Chugiak.  There will be a day of workshops on June 1, prior to the Annual Conference.

Read more about the theme and logo.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN!
Annual Conference Registration
Housing/Transportation Registration
Child Care Registration

Pre-Conference workshops are still being finalized.  Please stay tuned for the pre-conference workshop registration in the near future.

Here are links to various information that pertains to the upcoming Annual Conference.  Please note the due dates if you wish to submit anything for consideration.

PETITIONS - due April 15
COMMITTEE REPORTS - due April 15
OUTSTANDING LAY PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINATION - due April 30
HARRY DENMAN EVANGELISM AWARD NOMINATION - due April 30
MEMORIAL ROLL SUBMISSIONS - due May 15
MINISTRY DISPLAY TABLE REQUEST - due May 15
Western Bishops Share Messages of Lent
The bishops in the Western Jurisdiction will offer messages of faith each week of Lent, with the prayer that God will strengthen the Church for its mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

This week Bishop Karen Oliveto, from the Mountain Sky Episcopal Area, shares a message about finding God in the mud and muck of life.  Read Bishop Oliveto's Lenten message here.

Bishop Robert Hoshibata shared the fourth message in the series. Read his thoughts on quenching thirst and looking beyond ourselves.

Bishop Minerva Carcaño offered the third in the series of Lenten messages.  Read her Lenten message: The Lord is Your Keeper.
 
The second message came from Bishop Grant Hagiya of the California-Pacific ConferenceRead his reflection on the Western Jurisdiction website.

The first message came from our very own, Bishop Elaine Stanovsky.  You can read her message here.
Seeking Photos that Depict Signs of Abundant Life in our Local Church and Ministry Settings
During the shared Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Session, which will be held June 14 - 17, those planning the gathering intend to highlight abundant life enhancing ministries taking place in local church and ministry settings.  They want to include some from the Alaska Conference as well since Alaska is part of the same Episcopal area (we share the same Bishop). Because they do expect to have a large number of submissions, a selection committee will make the final decision on which photos will be used.
 
If you would like to submit a digital photograph (and we hope you do as we would like to have the Alaska Conference represented) please:
  • Ensure that you have a completed and signed photo release form on file in your church for each person in the photo
  • Provide a short written description of the ministry depicted in the photo
  • Provide your name and contact information
  • Send the photo in the largest .jpeg file you have available
  • Send the digital photo with the other information requested to:  photos@greaternw.org and copy hayden@alaskan.net 
If you have any further questions please email Jo Anne Hayden at   hayden@alaskan.net.
 
All complete submissions received by May 1st will be considered.
Workshop: Make the Most of Retired Life - Together!
Recently retired? Retiring soon?  Join author and speaker Nora Hall on Saturday, May 6, for a workshop designed to help couples make the transition from work to retirement, peacefully!

From personal experience and research, Nora has identified the issues couples face when both retire-like sharing the home, privacy, creating an identity outside of work-and discovered positive solutions that not only keep the peace but actually enhance the relationship.

The workshop will be held at St. John UMC May 6th from 9:30 am-3:30 pm.  The workshop is free of charge and open to anyone.  A lunch will be available on site for purchase.

For more information or to register, phone Connie Quinley at 907-632-8045 or St. John UMC at 907-344-3025.  View the flier here
Birchwood's Women's Psalms Retreat
In this fast paced world of family responsibilities, career demands and social media, take a break to relax, slow, and grow at the Women's Psalm Retreat at Psalm Lake on Birchwood Camp.  We will be digging deeper into Psalms along the shores of Psalm Lake; the perfect place for God to speak peace and joy into our crazy busy lives!  Starting on Friday, April 28th at 7pm with welcoming and a restful evening; followed by Saturday, April 29th sunrise beside Psalm Lake praise, worship, meditation, prayer walk and much more! Leave around 8pm refreshed and renewed.  Visit www.birchwoodcamp.org for registration.
Anchorage First UMC Foundation Grant
The First United Methodist Church Foundation (Anchorage) is accepting applications for grants to be used for educational benefits, scholarships, outreach to the community and the world, and capital projects for the First United Methodist Church, Anchorage. Applications are available at the First United Methodist Church or click here Applications should be concise and fit within the one page application. Submissions must be received by 31 March, 2017 .

The First United Methodist Church Foundation was formed on January 13, 1991. It was formed from the First United Methodist Church Endowment which began in 1989. The purpose of the Foundation was to distribute dividend profits to various charity organizations. Grant requests can be used for educational benefits, scholarships, out reach into the community and the world, and capital projects for the First United Methodist Church.

Since currently this is a relatively small fund, all grant requests received will be prioritized by the committee in accordance with the bylaws and selected by the majority members of the Fou
ndation. Selected grant approvals will be notified and receive their funds in a short period of time afterwards. Unfortunately not all grants can be approved, but as the fund grows, this Foundation will be able to help others.
Update Insurance Information by April 1
In a letter that was mailed out to each church on January 3rd, the Conference Treasurer has requested that each church and/or group that is covered under the Conference Group Fire and Liability Insurance program send updated information by April 1st.

It says, "The program is based on accurate reporting of values and contractual risk factors.  With it now being a few years since the program incepted, the insurer would like updated information on your congregation's operations.  We ask if you may complete the enclosed application and return it to us..."

This is a friendly reminder to make sure you work on the renewal with the updated information and get it sent into Van Vong with Marsh as well as Brant Henshaw, Conference Treasurer this week.
Clear Appointment Openings
A list of churches that are open for appointment can be found on the Greater NW Area website. As appointments are announced and the appointment process unfolds, new clear openings will be added to the list. See the latest.
NATIONAL NEWS
A Move to Part-Time Clergy Sparks Innovation in Congregations
Although church leaders often worry that switching from full-time to part-time clergy will lead to decline, congregations across the country are finding new vitality by reimagining the roles of clergy and laypeople.

Read the rest of the article here
Heritage Sunday is May 21
Heritage Sunday
This year's theme is: "MILESTONES - Calling Local Churches to Discover and Celebrate Their History." Resources to guide and assist planning your local church Heritage Sunday celebration are available on the GCAH website. Heritage Sunday (para. 262, 264.1) calls every congregation to remember United Methodist heritage as a source of inspiration for ministry in the present and shaping vision for the future.
CONFERENCE CALENDAR
March
31-April 2: Women's Spiritual Growth Retreat

April
16: Easter
18-20: GNW Cabinet meeting in Portland - Carlo attending
20-22: GBGM Board Meeting in Atlanta - Carlo attending
23-24: UMDF Board Meeting in Austin - Carlo attending

May
6: Leadership Team meeting
21: Heritage Sunday
22-25: GNW Cabinet meeting in Seattle - Carlo attending
29: Memorial Day - Office Closed
Conference Office Email Address has Changed
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We have changed the conference office email from umc@gci.net to alaskaumc@gmail.com.  For workflow ease, we are consolidating everything to the Google platform (email, calendar, etc.).  Please update your address books/contacts lists and start using alaskaumc@gmail.com for your emails to the conference. Carlo's email ( carlorapanut@gmail.com) will remain the same.
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Upcoming
Clergy Birthdays
 
March 29: Doug Handlong

April 3: Tim McConville
April 12: Robert Hicks
April 22: Melissa Engel
April 23: Karen Martin Tichenor



Conference Office
907-333-5050

Superintendent Carlo
907-854-8340
Submissions - If you have an article or event that you would like to share with the rest of the conference, submit it to the conference office by Monday evening for consideration.
AUMC Logo Mission Statement:
The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.  Held and supported by the transforming relationship with God through Christ, we of the Alaska United Methodist Conference seek to be a community that creates a home for all peoples, finds our hope through grace and journeys together into God's preferred future.
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